Soccer match in Sudan with guns and soldiers

When you think of a soccer match, you think of excited and anxious fans and their rock-hard loyalties. But when it comes to Sudan, the picture looks a little di

updated: November 19, 2009 10:49 IST
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Khartoum Sudan:

The streets emptied at sunset. Twitchy-faced soldiers hit the pavement, literally thousands of them, wearing all stripes of camouflage, blues, greens, grays and browns. They twirled clubs and AK-47s and plastic pipes and ragged old beating sticks. Their giant trucks with four-foot-high wheels blocked the roads. This did not feel like a major sporting event. It felt more like a presidential coup.

Two of Africa's powerhouse soccer teams, Egypt and Algeria, were squaring off Wednesday night for a chance to go to next year's World Cup. Rowdy Egyptian and Algerian fans had been playfully goading one another all day, zooming around in minivans, hanging out the windows, flapping their national flags like matadors trying to taunt a bull.

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